Today we said goodbye to Mark Betts and Doug Weaver and said Hello to Kat Cantner from the Institute for Exploration and Jack Irion from the Minerals Management Service.
As far as the expedition goes, we're mostly just trying to dodge all the oil rigs and fishermen who are in this area, picking our way through as we transit to Rankin and Bright Banks. Again, bottom visibility was really poor as it frequently is in shallow water (shallow for NR-1 that is).
The problem with trying to pilot a submarine around fishing boats is that the fishermen don't know we are here unless someone on Carolyn warns them. We don't want to get caught up in their nets, so we are being very careful. Of course, our sonar system should pick up the oil rigs and fishing boats, but we're not taking any chances.
The area around Rankin and Bright looks pretty interesting, and it's been barely explored compared to East and West Flower Gardens. We hope to discover something new!